Crystal River

Howdy and Hola, Pigeon Handlers!

Today, we continue our exploration of the Sunshine State by taking a little drive out to the town of Crystal River. Named for the Crystal River that hangs around the area, the place is a nice, quaint little town that has more than enough to offer for a full day’s worth of activities.

It’s Called Art, You Wouldn’t Understand

I’m sure that back home in Texas, in all of the places I’ve found myself at one time or another, that there are artists and galleries and all that jazz. But local color is lost on locals and more times than not, I was where I was for a reason other than art. Now that I’m actively exploring a new place, I’m stopping at nearly every little shop that I come across and I’ve found that Florida is absolutely full of art and artists.

When I was in the Keys, there were galleries and shops every which way you looked. From Lobster Trap in Islamorada to the Anna Sweet gallery in Key West, visual pleasantries were everywhere. My home away from from the farm in Ocala has a downtown district partly dedicated to the those who tell stories with paint and pictures. Hell, you might even remember that fantastic piece of street art we found while getting a Cuban Sammich in Ybor City.

If you find yourself in Crystal River, get in the van and go down Citrus Avenue and get in touch with your inner Van Gogh.

“It’s actually pronounced—” You are interrupted by Janet from Accounting at just the right time.

The Downtown district in CR is full of shops and restaurants, whiles also boasting some neat galleries. One has a focus on blues and beach scenes, while another takes a closer look at nature. More than that, there are a couple of shops that let you get your hands dirty and do some creating of your own. GlassWerx offers beginner and intermediate courses on working with stained glass, while the locale Hammer and Stain franchise is a crafty DIY wood shop. So, whether you want to look or try your hand at a little creativity, Crystal River has you covered.

I Require Sustenance

After a quick little walk, you might have done what I did and worked up a bit of an appetite. Luckily, Crystal River is just like most other towns in the country and they offer dining options. There’s something for every taste, but since it’s Florida, why not opt for some seafood.

Charlie’s Fish House Restaurant is a nice little affordable stop for a quick bite with a generous menu. Now, while I passed over dishes like Grouper and Mahi-Mahi and Shrimp in favor of the ocean’s chicken tenders [Clam strips], I had my reasons. I was hungry enough to get a full-sized meal, but once the waitress mentioned something about Key Lime Pie, I decided that I couldn’t in good faith and the Florida spirit pass up such an opportunity. And folks, it was grand. Was it the best part of the meal? Yes. That’s not a knock on the clam strips, as they were fantastic.

Even if you aren’t hungry for a full meal, you can’t go wrong coming to Charlie’s for a slice of Key Lime while taking in a nice view of Kings Bay on the Crystal River.

Is That All?

Still need something more to do while in Crystal River? If Art and Food aren’t enough for you, there is certainly one activity that might actually be the biggest draw to this fine little town. And in the spirit of suspense [remember, I dabble as a fiction writer every now and then], make sure you check back tomorrow as I let you in on a what could be one of the funnest things you can do in Florida. Until then, #StayGolden!

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